Billed as “The World’s Largest Annual Gathering of Soccer Coaches,” each year the NSCAA Convention draws approximately 4,000 coaches from our 30,000-plus members, and more than 10,000 attendees over five days for live field demonstration and lecture sessions, networking socials, coaching diplomas and more!
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) is an organization of American soccer coaches founded in 1941. It is the largest soccer coaches organization in the world, with more than 30,000 members. It offers training courses for both beginning and experienced coaches and a wide range of award programs. Rare among sports organizations, it serves its sport for both men/boys and women/girls. Lynn Berling-Manuel is the current Chief Executive Officer.
Grateful to have been able to attend this year’s event, I met some super people. There wasn’t a topic left uncovered at this event. The session handbook offered over 300 lectures running from Wednesday night to Sunday night. Professionalism is an understatement, and i will leave it to you to attend and discover that for yourself 🙂
I look forward to expanding my coaching experience at future conferences.
HISTORY OF THE GAME
The contemporary history of the world’s favourite game spans more than 100 years. It all began in 1863 in England, when rugby football and association football branched off on their different courses and the Football Association in England was formed – becoming the sport’s first governing body. Both codes stemmed from a common root and both have a long and intricately branched ancestral tree. A search down the centuries reveals at least half a dozen different games, varying to different degrees, and to which the historical development of football has been traced back. Whether this can be justified in some instances is disputable. Nevertheless, the fact remains that people have enjoyed kicking a ball about for thousands of years and there is absolutely no reason to consider it an aberration of the more ‘natural’ form of playing a ball with the hands.
On the contrary, apart from the need to employ the legs and feet in tough tussles for the ball, often without any laws for protection, it was recognised right at the outset that the art of controlling the ball with the feet was not easy and, as such, required no small measure of skill. The very earliest form of the game for which there is scientific evidence was an exercise from a military manual dating back to the second and third centuries BC in China.
This Han Dynasty forebear of football was called Tsu’ Chu and it consisted of kicking a leather ball filled with feathers and hair through an opening, measuring only 30-40cm in width, into a small net fixed onto long bamboo canes. According to one variation of this exercise, the player was not permitted to aim at his target unimpeded, but had to use his feet, chest, back and shoulders while trying to withstand the attacks of his opponents. Use of the hands was not permitted.
Another form of the game, also originating from the Far East, was the Japanese Kemari, which began some 500-600 years later and is still played today. This is a sport lacking the competitive element of Tsu’ Chu with no struggle for possession involved. Standing in a circle, the players had to pass the ball to each other, in a relatively small space, trying not to let it touch the ground.
The Greek ‘Episkyros’ – of which few concrete details survive – was much livelier, as was the Roman ‘Harpastum’. The latter was played out with a smaller ball by two teams on a rectangular field marked by boundary lines and a centre line. The objective was to get the ball over the opposition’s boundary lines and as players passed it between themselves, trickery was the order of the day. The game remained popular for 700-800 years, but, although the Romans took it to Britain with them, the use of feet was so small as to scarcely be of consequence.